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08 November 2023

BAYC Event Blindness; Personal Accident Considerations

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Over the weekend of November 3 to 5th the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) held its highly anticipated ApeFest in Hong Kong. Owners of Bored Ape NFT’s, and other crypto enthusiasts, descended on Hong Kong For a multi-faceted three-day convention organized by Yuga Labs, the parent company of the BAYC brand.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is an NFT collection that is popular with tens of thousands of people around the world. Entry to ApeFest was free for owners of Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT owners, and according to media reports an estimated 60,000 attendees were in Hong Kong for the weekend to celebrate the monkey themed crypto tokens.

While the 2023 ApeFest event in Hong Kong was intended to be less of a party and celebrity themed concert and while Yuga labs intended (according to press releases) to foster a more educational environment for attendees, an ApeFest party was still held over the weekend.

Event Insurance Hong Kong

BAYC and Concert Blindness

Following the concert attendees started to notice that there may have been issues with their eyes. Adrian Zdunczyk, a well-known member of the crypto community, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he had woken up following the concert with severe eye burn.

Following a visit to the hospital, and a HK$1,300 bill at a specialist ophthalmologist, Adrian was diagnosed with Photokeratitis. The condition also called welders eye is caused by unprotected viewing of ultra violet light. Some ApeFest attendees are speculating that the medical condition was caused via the stage lighting at the event, which may have been UV-C instead of UV-A or UV-B.

Welder’s eye, also known as welder’s flash or arc eye is when ultraviolet light causes a painful inflammation of the cornea. The best comparison would be that it is like sunburn directly in your eyes, and it can affect both eyes. While Photokeratitis is treatable and can usually heal over the course of a few days depending on the severity of the injury, individuals afflicted may be at risk of permanent loss of sight.

According to local media in Hong Kong, a similar occurrence happened in 2017 at the Landmark in Central. During a hype beast event partygoers were left with severe sunburn and light sensitivity after being exposed to ultraviolet light. It was later revealed that organizers of the height beast event had used a type of ultraviolet light bulb that emitted UV-C radiation, mainly intended for disinfecting purposes in a medical setting.

Following the Welder’s Eye incident in 2017, hype beast released a statement that revealed the situation was under investigation by the relevant insurance company.

UV Light Liability Insurance

Event Insurance; No matter what goes wrong

It is highly likely that Yuga Labs had some form of Event Insurance covering the ApeFest event. In Hong Kong it is very common for event venues to require the purchase of, at minimum, public liability insurance in order to use or rent a space.

But event insurance is far more than simple public liability protection. Event, and contingency insurance, actually describe a class of insurance products that are infinitely customizable to the needs of organizers and production companies.

So, what coverage would be applicable to the organizers and attendees of the BAYC ApeFest 2023 in Hong Kong?

Event Public Liability Insurance

As Public Liability Insurance is typically required by venues to be in place before an event is allowed to take place, this is the obvious place to start with regards to any potential BAYC ApeFest event insurance policy.

Under many Hong Kong event insurance policies public liability insurance protection extends to accidental bodily injury to any person, damage to property, or obstruction, trespass, wrongful detention, or malicious prosecution, for which the policy holder may be responsible. With this type of benefit an insurer will indemnify the policyholder for costs, fees, and expenses, originating from their liability as the responsible party for the covered event. It is also possible to extend many public liability insurance policies to include defense costs and expenses should it be alleged that the event is responsible for the death of any individual in attendance.

As public liability protection, even that which is not attached to an event insurance plan, typically includes specific protection for bodily injuries, it is reasonable to assume that ApeFest attendees who suffered eye damage because of the ultraviolet lights will have some form of remedy.

Event Liability Insurance

Event Personal Accident Insurance

Depending on the insurance company you choose to work with to obtain an event insurance plan, it may be possible to obtain additional coverage benefits on the policy. One coverage benefit that might be particularly relevant to the Bored Ape Yacht club disaster is Personal Accident Insurance.

Under an event insurance personal accident coverage extension, it is possible to insure just the production staff or performers or ensure against the personal accident risks of everybody in attendance at the event. Why would you do this, and extend public liability protection with additional personal accident coverage that will cost an extra premium?

Because the level of cover, should anything go wrong, is usually much higher than that associated with simple Public Liability Coverage.

Event liabilities insurance that includes personal accident protection, like public liability, will cover death temporary disablement and personal disabled. However, unlike public liability protection, personal accident insurance will also allow for the insurance to contribute medical expenses to claimants on behalf of the indemnified organizer. Further to this, there is no extension of personal accident insurance to property damage— which means that this benefit on an event insurance policy is able to protect against, far more effectively, attendee claims that they have received a serious bodily injury at any given event.

Event Contingency Insurance

Accidents Will Happen; Protect Against Them

Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance are the two most likely event protection benefits that would apply to the many individuals who attended the BAYC ApeFest and subsequently found themselves diagnosed with Photokeratitis. Attendees who feel like they have a claim should seek legal advice and contact Yuga Labs and Bored Ape Yacht Club.

We do not know what insurance was in place to cover the event, and it is likely that claims will take a long time (if not years) to resolve. However, the news coming out of the ApeFest event should be a stern warning to all event organizers and producers in the region to look at their event insurance, and update coverage where necessary.

Because Event Insurance comes with so many different options and packages, it is possible to construct a plan that is specially designed for your event. From risks of technical equipment malfunctioning and causing injuries to your attendees, through to the possibility of a Typhoon or black rainstorm warning causing you to lose your audience, the risks faced by events are complex and myriad – event insurance needs the flexibility to support you when you need it.

For more information about Hong Kong Event Insurance, or to learn more about the event insurance plans offered by CCW global, Contact Us to speak with an expert broker today.

Ask CCW – we’re simplifying your insurance.

About Author

Michael Lamb is an insurance industry professional with many years of experience within the Hong Kong Insurance market. Focusing on APAC coverage issues, Michael is able to provide extensive analysis and insight to a range of pressing topics. Previously, Michael provided insurance broker Globalsurance.com with their most highly valued articles and was a key influence in the development of all the content on Pacificprime.com, Michael has a passion for insurance matched by few others in the region.

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